Recently I quoted Thoreau, who said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I’ve felt that way at times—have you?
I remember sitting heartbroken in a church service the week after my mom had died suddenly, at the age of 64. I was 41 years old. Pam and I had been attending the church for a year, and had been teaching a Sunday school class for several months.
That morning, as I sat in the service, I realized that not one person in the congregation even knew that my mom had died. We realized during that season of grief how isolated we were, outside of work relationships. It was not the church’s fault. We just hadn’t done a lot to move towards deeper relationships.
I’m glad I’m in a different place today. This past year I’ve carried the heaviness of losing my dad, but I didn’t carry it by myself. I’m more connected with other men with whom I can share openly.
The other night, Pam was out of town and a close friend came over for dinner and a movie. We had plenty of time to talk. We shared about heartaches and about how we felt. Despite the heavy challenges we shared (and probably because of that sharing), it was an encouraging time.
The description of the early Church in Acts 2 invites us to lean on one another more than we naturally do. It paints a beautiful picture that reflects the heart of Jesus. Verse 44 says, “And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common” (MSG). To hold “everything in common” demands having heart-connected friendships. The fragrant aroma of this kind of fellowship draws others toward Jesus as well.
Let’s pray for God to manifest His presence and touch our lives through this kind of interdependence, which reflects His heart for Christian community.
Are you currently experiencing friendships with other Christ followers that allow you to be fully yourself, even when things are not going well? What can you do to position yourself closer to others who have the same need and longing?